Renewables on Tribal Homelands: A Rosebud Sioux Tribe Renewable Energy Conference will be held April 28-30, 2010, at the Rosebud Casino & Hotel in South Dakota. Sponsored by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Trees, Water & People (TWP); Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE); and the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL), the conference will highlight the energy cost problems faced by the Indian Reservations of the American West, the new and developing family and facility-scale alternative energy projects being implemented to address these problems, and the future possibilities for Native American renewable energy development.
Renewables on Tribal Homelands is all about bringing renewable energy into tribal communities and homes. The conference is open to all tribes and individuals who are interested in renewable energy technologies and looking for ways to start and fund innovative projects.
Henry Red Cloud stands next to one of Lakota Solar Enterprises’ solar heating installations
The Rosebud Reservation has been at the forefront of tribal renewable energy development, making this an ideal opportunity to explore the future of Native American renewable energy innovations and opportunities. Participants will tour multiple sites on the Reservation, including the Little Thunder Project, a demonstration site for multiple renewable energy applications. This project utilizes the home of Rosie Little Thunder, the head of a well-known traditional Lakota family. The renewable energy demonstrations on the site include windbreak and shade trees, a solar air heater, photovoltaic panels, and a small wind turbine.
Participants will also visit the 750 kilowatt utility-scale commercial wind turbine at the Rosebud Casino. Purchased in 2003, this is the first commercial wind turbine in the lower 48 states wholly owned and operated by a Native American tribe. The Sicanyu Lakota of the Rosebud Reservation also negotiated the first tribal sale of carbon offset “green tags” generated by this turbine to NativeEnergy of Vermont. Site tours will also include visits to a straw bale house and solar heater installations.
The last day of the conference will address future renewable energy projects and opportunities, using case studies of other tribes’ renewable energy efforts. Included will be a presentation by Henry Red Cloud, proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises (LSE), about the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC). Located on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, RCREC provides tribes with training by and for Native Americans in solar heating and other renewable energy applications. Along with tours and presentations, the conference will feature traditional dinners and cultural activities in the evenings.
For more information about this event or to register, please contact Liz Sunderland at Trees, Water & People at 970-484-3678, email@example.com, or Deana Haukaas at Rosebud Sioux Tribe Utility Commission at 605-747-4097, firstname.lastname@example.org.